Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Successful Hunt!

My son's first ever hunt for deer was a success. The deer was taken with a single shot of .223 Hornady hollow point - boat tail ammunition. The 75-grain projectile passed through completely, leaving an "ice-pick" style entry wound and a half-dollar sized exit wound. On the inside, the lungs were decimated and the spine severed. There was minimal meat ruined.

This 85-pound doe (dressed) dropped where she was shot. There was no tracking. No need to follow a blood trail. She died instantly. She did not thrash or kick. The other deer in her herd took off immediately.

Though no follow up shot was needed, my son had 20 rounds of ammunition in his magazine. His AR15 sports an Eotech holographic sight, zeroed at 50 yards. The shot was made, ironically, at just a bit over 50 yards.

For some reason, my son declined to eat her heart raw immediately after the kill... still trying to figure out why.

The hunt took place on a friend's property a little ways south of town. The doe was shot and gutted within an hour of our arrival to the hunting spot. The hunt occurred on a designated youth-hunt day. Several other friends hunted that same day. Some had success, others did not. My friend, who allowed us to hunt his property took his own son out later that day. His son bagged another doe. It was not his son's first deer. His son has pictures on social media of at least a half-dozen deer kills this season alone.

Some observations from conversations with my friends... hunters and others:

Were surprised, in general, that a deer "could be taken" with a .223... much less that it was a one-shot kill and the deer dropped instantly.  Most have heard (erroneously) for years that one needs a larger caliber for deer.

Were not at all surprised with the one shot kill. Most military I've met hold the 5.56 mm round in high regards. 5.56 mm is virtually the same as .223, and both can be shot from my family's AR15's.

Related side-note: the "American Sniper," Chris Kyle, had many confirmed kills of the enemy with a single shot of 5.56 mm. It's not odd that a round that can kill a 200-pound man can do the same to a 110 pound deer.

I would suggest that anyone who doubts the effectiveness of .223 either has never hunted deer with it, or may need to brush up on his marksmanship a bit. By the way, a poor shot from a larger caliber will fail to kill a deer.

Most of my military friends pointed out - "it's all about shot placement."

Odds & Ends
As of the time this was written, the deer was being processed for the meat. We will eat some and I've promised to give some to a friend who asked really nicely.

My son is hooked. The only difference is he wants a scope for next time. I might just have one for him.

I've gotta get a deer myself, next season.

Yes, I'll be shooting my AR15 when I hunt.

Woodland camo worked for us both just fine. My friend who owned the property was also wearing woodland pants. As another friend points out - for deer huntimg, the camo is for the hunter, not the deer. Deer see movement better than colors. (That's why Tennessee and most other states can have laws requiring blaze orange safety colors for hunters, yet hunters still bag deer.)

It was 52 degrees out at the time of the hunt. Downright pleasant.

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